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Morphogenetics of early thyroid development.

Review article
Authors Henrik Fagman
Mikael Nilsson
Published in Journal of molecular endocrinology
ISSN 1479-6813
Publication year 2010
Published at Institute of Biomedicine
Language en
Keywords sköldkörtel, embryogenes, organogenes, missbildningar
Subject categories Biological Sciences, Cell Biology, Genetics, Developmental Biology, Cell and Molecular Biology, Medical cell biology, Molecular medicine


The thyroid develops from the foregut endoderm. Yet uncharacterized inductive signals specify endoderm progenitors to a thyroid cell fate that assemble in the pharyngeal floor from which the primordium buds and migrates to the final position of the gland. The morphogenetic process is regulated by both cell-autonomous (activated by e.g. Nkx2-1, Foxe1, Pax8 and Hhex) and mesoderm-derived (mediated by e.g. Tbx1 and Fgf) mechanisms acting in concert to promote growth and survival of progenitor cells. The developmental role of thyroid-stimulating hormone is limited to thyroid differentiation set to work after the gross anatomy of the gland is already sculptured. This review summarizes recent advances on the molecular genetics of thyroid morphogenesis put into context of endoderm developmental traits and highlights established and potentially novel mechanisms of thyroid dysgenesis of relevance to congenital hypothyroidism in man.

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